GLENDALE, Ariz. --
Whether captain Shane Doan
is able to suit up or not for Phoenix on Friday, the Coyotes' lineup and power play will have a different look in the pivotal Game 5 against Detroit (10 p.m. ET, VERSUS, TSN, RIS).
In an attempt to revive a sputtering power play, the Coyotes will dress veteran defenseman Mathieu Schneider
for the game. The 40-year-old will replace another former Red Wing, Robert Lang
, who was ineffective in Games 3 and 4 and still is bothered by a hip injury that sidelined him for more than a month.
The Coyotes will go with seven defensemen unless Doan, who did not skate Friday morning, is able to play -- something that seemed a long shot at the morning skate.
"He's a game-time decision," Phoenix coach Dave Tippett
said. "He had treatment again this morning and we'll see where he's at tonight. If we feel like he's functional and can do the job we need him to do, he'll play."
"We just feel like he's a guy with great experience, coming into a pivotal game. He can come in and give us come quality minutes. He has a great shot on the power play so there are things we can hopefully emphasize." -- Phoenix coach Dave Tippett
The Schneider move makes sense on several fronts. With the extra day of rest, the Coyotes can afford to shorten their bench, play 11 forwards and double-shift more often. Schneider is a power-play specialist -- he had 4 assists in the eight games he played since coming to Phoenix from Vancouver at the trade deadline, and has 100 power-play goals in his NHL career. And he has a hard, low, accurate shot from the point, something the Coyotes have been missing on a power play that has failed 14 straight times and had lots of trouble getting shots to the net in Game 4.
"We just feel like he's a guy with great experience, coming into a pivotal game," Tippett said. "He can come in and give us come quality minutes. He has a great shot on the power play so there are things we can hopefully emphasize."
Schneider has been anxious for the chance to play against his old team (he spent parts of four seasons, 2002-03 to 2006-07 with the Wings) and get back into the fray. He spent much of March rehabbing an injury and getting his fitness back, but said Friday he feels 100 percent healthy and ready to go.
"This is the most exciting time of the year. For me, to be a part of it now makes it certainly special," he said. "To jump in a series four games in is going to be fun, something that I've never really done in my career."
Schneider (with Montreal in 1993) and Phoenix goalie Ilya Bryzgalov
(with Anaheim in 2006) are the only Coyotes with their names on the Stanley Cup. The Red Wings have 17 different players who can make the same claim, and they own 34 championship rings between them.